At the Heart of it All…

… And the love of my life

Dear Reader:

Unequivocally a town can’t be ” charming ” unless it’s people are. Today God rewarded me with the opportunity to help someone who really needed it and to prove that ” charming” applies just not to scenery, architecture, and historical homes (as charming as they are!)

My adventure all started with a trip , yesterday morning, to the Bank ( First Citizens) in town… where to my surprise… the doors were locked and the lights off-a handwritten sign said ” Sorry… Systems Down-Lobby locked.”

” Oh well… nothing urgent” I thought to myself. As I started to circle the bank I noticed a woman at the ATM machine…who appeared quite distraught-I rolled down my window and called out ” Apparently the bank is having some kind of system break-down that must be affecting the ATM’s too. “

She was sweating profusely in the hot conditions and her eyes were tearing up. She responded… ” I had to call a cab to drop me off here to pull $500 dollars from my account to pay a mechanic to fix my car that overturned in a ditch. When the cabdriver saw I couldn’t get any money from the ATM he zoomed out of here cussing… thinking he wasn’t going to get paid since I just had my ID and personal bank card! Now I have no way to get home or get my money. ” (Her shoulders and whole body was slumped in defeat. )

I knew at that moment that this was now my problem… I had been sent to fix it. ” Hop in the car” I told the astonished woman ” and cool off ” … you are about to have a heat stroke.”

” There is another First Citizens near Oakbrook and I am taking you there to get your money from your account… no problem and then I will take you home.” ” By the way my name is Becky Dingle… and yours? ” Johnnie” she replied. ”

As luck would have it the two drive-throughs ( at the back of the bank) were accepting customers. Johnnie handed me her drivers license ID and bank card… her hands were trembling… she was praying her pension had already come through -it arrived every third day of the month but sometimes at different times in the day.

As luck would have it… it was in her account-she got her five hundred dollars in cash and I took her home to a trailer park in Lincolnville. On the way home we discovered we shared familiar memories-she had lived in Pageland -a small town in the upper piedmont where my family used to stop and eat lunch at a diner Johnnie still recognized …when traveling back to Laurens from Fayetteville. Small world!

My new friend Johnnie

So until tomorrow… ” At the heart of it all” yesterday God called on me to help Johnnie in her need. Thank you God for allowing me to-recognize Your Presence in the midst of the scene playing out and gratefully restore hope …where it was most needed.

Today is my favorite day-Winnie the Pooh

Tommy and Kaitlyn in awesome Dingle, Ireland

Yesterday… I stopped by the Summerville Tourist Center … and fellow middle school educator, Beth, was so personable and kind… assisting me with information and brochures… again , another example, why it is the people of Summerville who make it charming!!!

Beth… have you heard this cute anecdote I found going through some Facebook stories on Summerville?

You know what they say… Magnolias in May!

” We once heard a story of a lady in Ridgeville who had a magnolia tree SO BIG… you could drink a martini right out of the petals. ( Please let this be true!) 🤣

Pretty Design inside the tourist center

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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2 Responses to At the Heart of it All…

  1. Beth Brewer says:

    You are an angel!

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